Colossians presents a picture of Christ who is "the firstborn over all creation" and has disarmed and triumphed over the powers and authorities. The letter also appeals to its readers to seek humble maturity, a maturity not possible apart from the person and work of Jesus Christ. N.T. Wright's stated goal is to "to give the text back to the reader uncluttered by a mass of glosses." In Philemon, Paul makes a personal appeal to a fellow believer to receive a runaway slave, Onesimus, in love and forgiveness. For Wright, it is "an acted parable of the gospel itself."
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Nicholas Tom Wright, commonly known as N. T. Wright or Tom Wright, is the bishop of Durham and an important scholar of the New Testament. He has researched, taught, and lectured on the New Testament at McGill, Oxford, and Cambridge Universities, and has been named by Christianity Today as one of the top five theologians in the world. He is best known for his scholarly contributions to the historical study of Jesus and the New Perspective on Paul. His work interacts with the positions of James Dunn, E.P. Sanders, Marcus Borg, and Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury. Wright has written and lectured extensively around the world, authoring more than forty books and numerous articles in scholarly journals and popular periodicals. He is best known for his Christian Origins and the Question of God Series, of which four of the anticipated six volumes are finished.
“The ‘knowledge of God’s will’ is more than simply an insight into how God wants his people to behave: it is an understanding of God’s whole saving purpose in Christ, and hence (as in v. 10b) a knowledge of God himself.” (Page 61)
“Acting ‘in someone’s name’ means both representing him and being empowered to do so.” (Page 149)
“First, it is utterly inappropriate for one who knows the joy and release of being forgiven to refuse to share that blessing with another. Second, it is highly presumptuous to refuse to forgive one whom Christ himself has already forgiven.” (Page 147)
“Rather, every Christian has the responsibility, before God, to investigate the lifelines of whatever sins are defeating him personally, and to cut them off without pity. Better that than have them eventually destroy him.” (Pages 139–140)
“God’s secret plan is not, for Paul, a timetable of events, but a person.” (Page 95)